Over the course of seven seasons, the lynchpin for the success of the sitcom Mom was the relationship between the lead characters of Christy, played by Anna Faris, and her mother Bonnie, played by Allison Janney. Fans were understandably shocked to learn Faris was exiting the show ahead of Season 8. In an interview, Mom showrunner Gemma Baker revealed why they never considered killing Christy off to explain her absence from the show.
"Although our show has killed characters off in the past, we never considered this as an option for Christy. Our audience has been rooting for her for seven seasons and that loss felt like it would be too devastating for them and for our other characters. It was important to us that Christy moved on to bigger things."
Quite often when people are in recovery their lives get bigger in ways they couldn't before have imagined. And so that will be the case for Christy. She has been working toward her dreams for a while now and we feel like the audience will be happy for her. The character of Christy will live on and we will continue to get updates on what she is up to and how her moving on will affect Bonnie."
At the start of Season 8, it was revealed that Christy received a scholarship to attend Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C., and left to pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer. For Baker, while there is sadness over the Anna Faris departure, she remains confident that the show still has other stories left to tell.
"When we first heard Anna was leaving Mom we were, of course, sad to lose her. Anna created such a beautiful character in Christy Plunkett. And we loved writing the mother-daughter dynamics for Christy and Bonnie and watching that relationship deepen and heal over the years. But we never felt a sense of panic because, over the last few seasons, the show has naturally become more about the ensemble. We have such an incredibly strong cast, so we never doubted that we would be able to lean into them. There are so many stories left to tell about these strong women."
This is not Baker's first time managing a show where the main actor left. Her first job was on Two and Half Men, during the show's difficult transition period when Charlie Sheen quit the series, and Ashton Kutcher was brought on to replace him. Based on that experience, where Baker pointed out that Two and a Half Men went on for four more seasons, it seems Mom will continue to operate in a post-Christy world.
Produced by Chuck Lorre Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with series creators Chuck Lorre, Eddie Gorodetsky, and Gemma Baker serving as executive producer, Season 8 of Mom features Allison Janney as Bonnie Plunkett, Mimi Kennedy as Marjorie Armstrong-Perugian, Jaime Pressly as Jill Kendall, Beth Hall as Wendy Harris, William Fichtner as Adam Janikowski, Kristen Johnston as Tammy Diffendorf. This news comes from Entertainment Weekly.